The L.A. Complex, episode 5: everybody gets laid
We believe it was the great Sheryl Crow who once remarked that L.A. ain’t no country club. In this week’s episode, written by local playwright Brendan Gall (with cameos from Toronto comedians Chris Locke, Rebecca Kohler and Aaron Eves, no less), every character faced the challenge of how to act on their impulses, especially the self-destructive ones. More deets on who did the nasty and with whom after the jump.
When we last left The L.A. Complex, Abby and Nick were negotiating a will-they-won’t-they relationship, Raquel was hustling a wealthy recovering alcoholic and Alicia was signing a porn contract. Classy, right? In episode 5, things are working out for these three arcs, but with a price. After Abby lays down a vocal for the new Kaldrick King single, she’s threatened by Tariq’s paramour, who, fearing she’ll reveal their relationship, says he’ll make her disappear (and that, friends, is why he gets to wear the tank top). She rejects sex with Connor, who drops by his old haunt for sloppy seconds (“You banged an old blonde chick!”) and finally sleeps with the one guy she can use for emotional support: Nick. (This is hours after he slept with a fellow comic himself—oral sex included!) Raquel hooks up with her sugar daddy (and admits she has a problem, with a great monologue performed by Jewel Staite), but a lingering close-up says she might not be cruel enough to dupe a fellow user for production funds. And in a surprising twist, Alicia enters what might be the most utopic porn set in all of California, where she’s welcomed by lollipops and a hot lesbian co-star on the first day of the job.
Luckily, for every yin, there’s a depressing yang on The L.A. Complex: Connor’s inferiority complex encourages him to provoke a bar brawl (he likes the taste of his own blood), and Tariq grapples with a boyfriend who likes to ingratiate himself by threatening his friends with murder. (But please add to your fan fiction that Tariq and Kaldrick admit that they love each other!) Though we learned through the medium of improv comedy how important it is to “take a risk and raise the stakes” (even if that means celebrating your green light with champagne that tastes like sweaters), carpe diem in Hollywood always comes at a cost.
The L.A. Complex is a veritable Frankensoap, mining the backlogs of other prime-time dramas for inspiration. Here, our weekly look at what they stole and from whom:
• The Abby-and-Nick/Raquel-and-dentist-benefactor emotional sex montage felt as weepy as a One Tree Hill episode (though we liked the acoustic cover of Miike Snow’s “Animal”).
• Ennis Esmer’s congenial landlord basically serves the same purpose as Noel Crane’s sensitive R.A. on Felicity, except with less screen time. Where’s Eddie’s sex montage?
• We’re into Kaldrick and Tariq’s forbidden love, but the abusive boyfriend arc is starting to go the way of Degrassi: The Dark Side.